Real Madrid are incredibly proud of their Champions League legacy and rightly so. It’s something that both Dani Carvajal and Carlo Ancelotti have gone out to defend in recent days.
Both responses come after the press asked about Xavi Hernandez’s comments on the Champions League, where he called the Champions League the most injust competition there is. He was referring to not having the luck against Bayern Munich in their second group game, as they were defeated in Germany.
Dani Carvajal gave a typically spiky response to Xavi in his press conference. His manager Carlo Ancelotti was also fairly firm in his answer to Diario AS. He was asked whether he preferred the league or the Champions League but then came onto the topic himself.
“I always wanted to win the Champions League. The league is very important, but the Champions League is more important. They are different. One is of 38 games and the other many fewer. Sometimes a knockout is of 180 minutes. There the small details matter.”
“It’s not luck or bad luck. Sometimes speaking about luck hides the problems you have and the merit of the rival. If I say that we had bad luck against Osasuna it means that I hide the problems that we had with the ball and the good match of the opponent.”
It should be pointed out that Ancelotti did do exactly that, as did Antonio Rudiger, following their match against Osasuna.
“Speaking about small details is important, in the Champions League they can score against you three times in just a few minutes, as has happened to me. It can also happen to you in a semi-final. The small details are controlled with a strong mentality. Real Madrid are the team that have taken care of these details most.”
There can be little argument with Ancelotti’s point about small details though. No team seems to come through as many hairy situations as Los Blancos and it is not for nothing. Last season’s Champions League victory was the most clear example of the effects of having a strong mentality.